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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Feminist-friendly television

Of the new shows debuting on TV this fall, a lot has been written on how many are centering on single women, apart from their roles as girlfriends or mothers.

It shouldn't be that monumental, but it somewhat is.

Two of these shows are "2 Broke Girls" and "New Girl." I did manage to catch parts of these shows and thought they were both so-so. The part I did enjoy was that the characters were people I could somewhat relate to — well-rounded women (or "girls") who have their own lives and interesting personalities.

Along with these new shows, "Parks and Recreation," a favorite of mine, returns Thursday for its fourth season.

If you don't watch it already, please start! In addition to being delightfully quirky, the show features a rarity in today's network TV lineup — a strong, female main character who is also a self-described feminist.

Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, is an extremely driven small-town government worker with presidential aspirations. She has very relatable relationship problems — that don't define her — and a healthy best friend relationship with Ann Perkins, played by Rashida Jones.

Sounds normal enough, but in TV land this is a triumph for characters who don't always reflect the depth and diversity of many women's lives.

It's not like this TV season went all Gloria Steinem on us, however.

There's still the debut of the deplorable "The Playboy Club," which continues to glorify an archaic lifestyle.

But a fair amount of shows this season do pass the Bechdel Test (a system that says that a movie has at least two women in it who talk to each other about something besides a man.) And that's something to be thankful for.

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